The Vancouver Province
Here’s The Province annual look at The Big 4 players to watch in Saturday’s Subway Bowl finals.
W.J. MOUAT VS. CENTENNIAL
Last season, when The Province asked coaches around B.C. to talk a little about their team’s unsung heroes, W.J. Mouat Hawks head coach Denis Kelly didn’t have to think too long.
Yes, he had a force of nature named Boseko Lokombo as his primary running back, but Kelly also loved the soft-spoken Grade 11 kid that was making big things happen every time he happened to get a carry.
Well, Allan Dicks is even better this season on both sides of the ball, and one of the primary reasons that the Abbotsford school is back in the Subway Bowl Triple A championship final on Saturday (7 p.m., Sportsnet) against the Centennial Centaurs.
“Tonight he covered the best receiver,” Kelly said last Saturday after Dicks starred in the defensive secondary as part of the Hawks 15-14 semifinal win over the Vancouver College Fighting Irish. “He made a game-save tackle and he was a demon on defence. On offence, he is our heart and soul. He has that great burst of speed, he has great feel, great balance. He’s just a great kid, but he’s very quiet.”
Sshh. Maybe Mouat’s opponent in Subway Bowl 2009, the Centennial Centaurs, don’t know anything about him?
Uhh, no. Even though Dicks missed the Hawks’ 24-21 loss to the Centaurs on Sept. 25 with a case of food poisoning, he has been a highlight reel unto himself in virtually every Mouat win since, a streak that sits at nine straight heading into Saturday’s title tilt.
And about that speed? The giddy-up he showed in sweeping and then accelerating to score the game’s pivotal touchdown, a 60-yard burst in the third quarter against the Irish, seemed to come from a running back with substantially more speed than the one we saw last season.
“That is definitely true,” Dicks said of his foot speed. “I spent the off-season training with weights, and I wanted to increase my strength and my agility. I think my 40 (yard) time decreased by about two-10ths of second.”
And that’s about as much as Dicks will say about himself. He lets his play on the field do his talking for him.